Dayton, OH Mission Trip
May 16-22, 2021
with Benedictine College Students

This was a very unique CMT mission trip:  we prayed the Liturgy of the Hours, made time for personal prayer, had Daily Mass, Adoration, and Confession, and Praise and Worship. Each night our formation talks were from our theme of the year, “I have called you friends” which the content was taken from Fratelli Tutti, the new encyclical by Pope Francis. Our exhortations focused on to change the world, we are encouraged to build relationships: with Christ, family, peers, enemies, and society.




My favorite quote from the week on Tuesday morning after only 1 complete day of mission was:
“Have people been praying for this mission trip? Because there is a lot of grace here!”
-Julia, Recent College Graduate



Sunday night we welcomed the group from Benedictine College and began our first formation night. Fr. Jeff Segbauer, who served on summer staff with CMT as a college student, joined us from Cincinnati to share about the “false securities” that COVID-19 exploited within him, and gave us permission to go into our own places of insecurities to give them to the Lord. He said,
“Our insecurities make us focus on ourselves, but when we give our insecurities to Our Lady, we experience being loved in our pain and become free to turn our focus on Jesus.



On Monday we did a rainy day project and built raised garden beds for three elderly women who have surely been “the least of these” during the pandemic on the West side of Dayton where there is a current food drought. All of the college students loved doing the carpentry work of Jesus, building together, learning new skills for using tools. We were delighted to hear that the elderly women who were recipients of the raised garden beds were thrilled. After dinner, our CMT Mission/Worship Leader, Andrew gave a powerful talk on how we as disciples are called to the art of relationships, which we can observe the craftsmanship of Jesus in the Scriptures as he creates friendships by the way He looks, loves, and speaks the hard thing.

On Tuesday, we weeded up a yard of an elderly man, Marc. Time and time again, we often discover that the people we are helping don’t have family to do these acts of service for them. We were happy to step in, as the first volunteers since the pandemic, to finish scraping and pressure washing his house for painting. While we were cleaning up his yard, Julia discovered a grown over sidewalk, and we teamed up to unearth an ancient sidewalk that led to the garage. When he came home he sat in his chair on the back of his sidewalk with a big smile on his face. In the evening, our CMT mission Leader, Sophie shared a personal story of how God gently and strategically used others to get her back into a relationship with him reminding us that God is the Ultimate One, not us, doing the heavy lifting to rebuild our relationship with Him.  These talks from Fr. Jeff, Sophie, and Andrew gave us permission to go to deep places of our hearts for fruitful conversation in our small group discussions.

On Wednesday, we slayed away vines growing all over and up the house of an elderly man, Kenneth, who was in the hospital. We scraped away at old paint on the outside of his house to get it ready for painting. In the afternoon, we went to prep for painting the house of a recent widow named Loretta. We scraped away prepping for transformation. In the evening, Fr. Jeff shared with us about conflict and forgiveness being essential parts of relationships as he shared about the life of St. Maria Goretti, preparing us into a night of Eucharistic Adoration and the Sacrament of Confession.


On Thursday, we sang some praise and worship with Loretta when we returned to begin painting her house. We got the front sides done which we were grateful for and felt accomplished. We noticed the other half was not prepared as well, and began scraping away so it would hold paint that would last for years to come. The work at times was frustrating not seeing our instantaneous results, but our CMT President & Founder Steve Nasche, who is also an Alumni of Benedictine College, reminded us that before the transformation happens, the majority of life is prep work. Just as the disciples had to prepare the upper room so the world would be transformed by the Paschal Mystery. Prep work to share about Jesus with the world is not for the faint of heart! The witness, fidelity to relationships, all lay the foundation for the conversion.

After our last work day we closed with our traditional CMT bonfire. I (Megan) gave an exhortation reflecting on “the stranger on the road” and how important it is as a missionary to first let Jesus be the Good Samaritan to us before we try to be the Good Samaritan for others. The act of receiving in His love is what moves us into mission. While roasting smores, we went around and affirmed each other for the ways we saw God alive in each other’s sincere gift of self throughout the week.

On our free day we went to Mass in downtown Dayton at St. Joseph before our hiking adventure. A man approached us after Mass and asked if he could treat us all to lunch in honor of his wife who recently passed away. We were each moved by his generosity, prayed with him, and he followed us to a local restaurant and treated us for a delicious Italian lunch at Franco’s.

What the participants said about the mission trip:

“On this mission trip I have definitely grown in my faith, bonded with my peers, and was given wonderful opportunities to do service.”  


“This mission trip has reinvigorated my love for the faith, my desire to serve others, and my love of community.”


“I enjoyed the community that was created with the other missionaries. I felt truly at home on this mission trip. This mission helped me find a wonderful community. I am also considering priesthood because of the trip.”


“I really enjoyed the awesome community we formed while we were serving. This trip was a great reminder that community and service to others are keys to happiness.”


“I loved being able to love God with others in our group and see Him in them.”


“I experienced good inner healing here, and I’ve seen how God is so present in community. My heart is empowered to love, it feels more tender and open because of how I was able to give and receive love this week. I will always treasure this time.”


“I enjoyed the integration of a lot of prayer time in the day both individually and as a group.”


“The joy of spending time in the home of our Lord Jesus Christ, the prayer, the time spent outside, community participation I enjoyed and it all made this such a wondrous time with the Lord!”


“This mission trip has been such a pleasure, truly. Thank you so much for everything, I sincerely think this was one of the best trips of my life, so much joy and love shared so much dwelling in Christ heart and I know none of this tremendous gift would have been possible without the love of the Director and her love of the Lord.”


“I enjoyed being together in community the most. I only knew these people for a week but I trust them and feel like I know them almost as much as my family. This mission trip impacted me by getting to serve alongside other Christians who are so passionate with energy to serve the poor and each other was a beautiful example and pushed me to look at the goodness in each person on a deeper level.”


“I enjoyed the community building the most.”


“This mission trip has made me realize I can take care of myself and letting others care for me is a great way to let Christ shine through them so I can see His Face.”


“I am glad that I have strengthened by relationships with people I already knew, and got to know new people especially amazing people like the Director and having the opportunity to just care for those who can’t care for themselves and do things for them that they wouldn’t be able to do on their own and see their reactions from it.”


I’m glad that I came cause I’ve been able to really build community and help out. I feel like the Lord has really been working in my life here as well, I have experienced a lot of healing and learned a lot of humility and it just feels good to serve other people and being able to connect with others and share in community and relationship has been super awesome. I’m glad I came,  all of it is great, and of course God is here too, so it is just great. 


“I am so glad I came on this mission trip because I got to grow in community with people who are pursuing the LORD and wanting to serve others, and that is just so joyful to me, I just love being in the company of others.”